Starbucks may forever be associated with making the Pumpkin Spice Latte the fall drink everyone loves to hate (and secretly drink), but the brand’s not resting on its laurels when it comes to seasonal beverages.
The Maple Pecan Latte – or MPL, as it will appear on cups – will be available at Starbucks nationwide beginning Sept. 22, and we got to taste the new latte early.
The drink is made with maple pecan sauce that has hints of maple syrup, pecan, and brown butter; Starbucks’ classic signature espresso; and your choice of steamed milk. It’s topped with orange and white sugar crystals, and can be served hot or iced.
I drank it hot with almond milk, which the barista told me pairs well with the nutty pecan taste, and I have to say it was pretty delicious. It’s less sweet than a PSL, and smelled like pancakes with syrup. The taste wasn’t too intense, but definitely had the “nostalgic, comforting” vibe Starbucks was going for.
While not on the menu, you can also order the MPL as a Frappuccino, and like any drink, can customize it with more or less syrup, whichever milk you like, etc.
Starbucks has been playing with the idea of maple drinks for awhile, testing different variations before settling on the MPL. A Golden Maple Latte was tested in a few U.S. markets in 2014, and way back in 2007, a Maple Macchiato was on the menu nationally. Some Starbucks in Asia have already been serving the Maple Pecan Latte, including stores in South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, and it will be available throughout Asia this fall.
The MPL will be served in Starbucks’ new fall cups, which were inspired by the pastel-colored versions we saw in the spring. This season’s cups come in purple, blue, and orange jewel tones, and feature either fall sketches (pumpkins, owls, and pie) or plain white circles you can doodle on.